The Biggest Falldown


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 34, Winter 2011

Welcome to Issue 34 of Back To Prabhupada (BTP).

The recent fall of yet another GBC-elected guru hoaxer due to illicit female association, Prabhavishnu Das - formerly Swami (for details see story on next page), has met with varied reactions. GBC member Praghosa Das downplayed the event, saying in reference to the fall that “much progress has been made and more progress is being worked on”. His reasoning was that the falldown rate for those taking sannyasa (vows of renunciation) in recent years is much lower than previously. Though, as in many previous cases, Prabhavishnu Das’ resignation only occurred due to his position being exposed, for it is admitted that he had been having illicit sex since at least 2001. Therefore, guru hoaxers “falling down” appears to be as much a matter of being “caught” as anything else. It has also been reported that Prabhavishnu Das’ fall resulted in many of his 1500 or so disciples feeling “devastated” and “cheated” by him. Actually, both reactions miss the key point.

As we have repeatedly proven, Srila Prabhupada never authorised any of his disciples to take his position as ISKCON’s diksa guru. Therefore, the biggest falldown had already occurred long ago when Srila Prabhupada’s disciples disobeyed him and usurped his position as ISKCON’s diksa guru. So serious is such a transgression that Srila Prabhupada describes the unauthorised action of a disciple occupying the position of one’s guru as follows:

“And as soon as he learns the Guru Maharaja is dead, “Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.” Then he’s finished.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, 16/8/1976)

Please see page 12 for more quotes. Hence Prabhavishnu Das, and all others like him, were already “finished” the moment they desired to take Srila Prabhupada’s position as ISKCON’s diksa guru - which, in Prabhavishnu Das’ case, was over 25 years ago. He then added another transgression in the form of illicit sex. But, even if he had not, the fact remains that he had already fallen down by committing the most serious transgression decades ago.

Thus, neither Prabhavishnu Das, nor all the other guru hoaxers, “fell down” from being guru, because they were never gurus to start with, and hence could not fall from a position they had not attained. Rather, all the ISKCON guru hoaxers fell down from the position of being a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, when they disobeyed his orders and usurped his position.

Indeed, focusing only on whether or not ISKCON gurus get caught breaking their initiation vows can inadvertently give the impression that those guru hoaxers who are yet to be caught “falling” are “in good standing”. But the reality is that all of them were already caught falling down the moment they desired to “kill guru” by unauthorisedly deciding to become Srila Prabhupada’s successors. And managing to not get caught breaking an initiation vow later on does nothing to change this reality. Hence, Praghosa’s analysis that they are making “progress” in ensuring sannyasis do not break their initiation vows completely misses the point that those of them (which is virtually all), who have already usurped Srila Prabhupada’s position as diksa guru, are already fallen and spiritually dead.

Similarly, it’s not that Prabhavishnu Das cheated his disciples by resigning as their unauthorised guru due to his illicit activity. On the contrary, as a result of his resignation, if anything, he has actually stopped cheating them and ended their devastation. For now they have been released from following a cheater, and can instead take full shelter of Srila Prabhupada, the real guru. Because, if they had continued to follow Prabhavishnu Das, they would have continued to have been misled - Srila Prabhupada teaches that unless one accepts a bona fide guru, one will remain “baffled both in this life and in the next.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 5.14.13, purport). For ISKCON, that bona fide guru is only Srila Prabhupada and not an unauthorised usurper – regardless of whether or not he manages to keep his initiation vows.

Please feel free to write to me at the following email address:

Thank you and Hare Krishna.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,


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